Check out the video package from Round 1 of the 2020 Porsche 944 Challenge series presented by Smiths TMP below! THanks as always to all of our series sponsors, and to Matt Dunlop of MDM Media for this great production!
The first round of the 2020 Porsche 944 Challenge is set to be held this weekend at the Sandown Motor Raceway as part of the Victorian State Race Series and will be presented by Smiths TMP. Over 250 cars are competing this weekend with 19 944 Challenge cars set to take the course for qualifying this afternoon, with a couple of new additions to the field for the first event of the year. With a number of quick drivers, cracking the top 10 will be an achievement for all drivers this round!
Here is a run – down of the entrants for this weekend:
#1 Cameron Beller – Cameron Beller comes fresh from securing both titles for the 2019 Championship and looks to get a strong start to retain his championship. However he will face his strongest opposition for this in recent years – will his new fatherhood status slow him down? The rest of the field will be hoping so!
#2 Tony Westaway – Tony secured a strong second position finish in the points in 2019 and will look to continue on that form in 2020. To do so, he will have a few extra competitors to beat, including his son and his brother!
#99 John Kennedy – John secured a third place outright in the Vic State Championship last year despite missing the first round of the series at Sandown in 2019 – but showed great speed from his first time in the car and secured his first race win in the final race at Island Magic despite a DNF in Race 1. Some further upgrades to his car in the off season including a conversion to left hand drive could help – or hinder his forward progression? Time will tell!
#27 Toni Andreevski – Toni had a fantastic 2019 season and showed how important consistency and finishing every race is to your points tally as he secured fourth position in the 2019 944 Challenge championship. Improving his speed all the time last year, Toni will look to continue that upswing in performance and to fight for more podium finishes during the year.
#31 Adam Brewer – Adam performed brilliantly during the 2019 season and scored his first podium finished at Winton, with only some bad luck and unfortunate DNF’s preventing him from scoring a higher position in the final points tally than 5th. More podiums, and a debut race win would surely be on Adams radar during the 2020 season – will he get them at Sandown this weekend?
#8 Dick Howe – Dick ended 2019 in thew best possible way, taking the round win at Island Magic with a win and a pair of second place finished in the three races. Will he be able to continue that form into 2020? There is no reason why not..
#66 Tim Wolfe- Tim has had a solid first year to the 944 Challenge this year, and has wheeled out a different car from which he contended the 2019 season in, with a striking new yellow and black livery. If Tim continues his forward trend expect to see him secure his first top 5 finish this season.
#45 Michael Westaway – Michael was again at the pointy end of the field last season, and would have featured more strongly in the season pointscore had he not missed a few rounds during the year. With his nephew and brother to contend with all season, will the orange Westaway car be the one on the top of the trio at the end of this weekend to earn bragging rights at the dinner table on Sunday night?
#98 Pedr James – Pedr had some great speed at certain points last year as he accustomed to left hand drive in his silver and black car, taking the race win in the final race at the Shannons Nationals Round to take thew Dennis O’Keefe Cup for 2019. With a new car not quite being finalised for Round 1, Pedr will look at giving this car a strong outing in its swansong performance.
#46 Jim Mitchell – Jim returns for 2020 after just missing out on a top ten in the points in 2019. With the long straights at Sandown complementing Jim’s car and driving best of the circuits, expect to see the Martini liveried car getting some good results this weekend.
#74 Mark Taubitz – Mark returns after a horror 2019 season which resulted in him missing Island Magic after a crash in the final State Series round. Back to his regular #74 after running #3 last year, Mark will be hoping that a new look to the car in a tribute to the Porsche Australia backed 1981 Le Mans entry of Peter Brock, Colin Bond & Jim Richards will help bring him some luck to start 2020!
#32 John Vainoras – John had his best ever round at Phillip Island for the State Series round and was looking to improve further on that at Island Magic but had engine dramas in qualifying which put him out before the weekend. He will be looking to continue his upward swing this weekend at Sandown and set some personal best times.
#64 Keith Marriner – Keith returns after handing the keys to his car over to Jamie Westaway at Island Magic, and will pedal the Seat Time Race Solutions 944 around the circuit for Race 1. After some dramas on his last visit here in July Keith will want to keep the car straight and clean and lock away some good results this weekend to start his 2020 season off the right way.
#33 Andy Jones – Andy also found some improvements last time out at Phillip Island and will no doubt improve substantially on his debut performance at Sandown last year. A solid debut season for Andy last year, his second season will see him move further forward on the grid as he gains more experience around the circuits and with his car.
#12 Marius Catrina – Marius returns for round 1 after missing a few events in 2019, and will look to replicate his qualifying performance from last year to start his weekend off strongly and get some good points for the start of the year.
#97 Rob Holding – Rob has shown great pace during his couple of appearances last year, and he is working on a full season tilt in 2020. Expect Rob to feature solidly in the top 10 throughout this weekend and get his season off to a strong start.
#64 Jamie Westaway – Rounding out the trio of Westaway’s for the weekend will be the 2018 State Series champion in 944’s, Jamie Westaway. Jamie returns behind the wheel of the ex-Paul Greer car and will no doubt be up the pointy end immediately after an impressive showing at Island Magic behind the wheel of Keith Marriner’s car before encountering mechanical issues. Jamie will be looking to add another gold trophy to his 2018 championship and will have to fight Beller, Kennedy, Brewer as well as his Dad and Uncle for it!
#15 Andy Tudor – Andy entered Island Magic last year but mechanical issues ended his weekend midway through Race 1 – so he will be looking for a longer weekend of action for Round 1 as he will have a tilt at Rookie of the year status for 2020.
#19 John Morrow – John is another new driver to the series having purchased the ex-Greg Wood car in the off season, and will be having his debut race this weekend. Keeping the car straight and pointing the right way will be the key goal, and get some points as he contends with his fellow West Australia Andy Tudor for the Rookie of the Year status.
Missing this round will be Peter Doherty who was unable to make it to this round, as well as Clayton Sinclair and Daniel Petselis. Also absent behind the wheel, but at the circuit will be Andrew Jackman as he prepares for Round 2 with his new race car.
Huge thanks to all of our 2020 Series Sponsors:
Porsche Cars Australia
Advance Fitness Australia
Bayside Commercial Real Estate
Seat Time Race Solutions
and a special mention to our naming rights sponsor for this weekend, Smiths TMP
Traction Tyre & Suspension
Yokohama Advan Tyres
Hawk Brake Pads
Sydney Shock Absorbers
The seventh and final round of the 2019 Porsche 944 Challenge is set to be held this weekend at the picturesque Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit as part of the historic Island Magic event this weekend
17 cars are entered for the round, which will see the possibility of the first time there could be a family lock-out of the podium. Returning to the circuit for the first time since the 2018 Island Magic event is 2018 State Series Champion Jamie Westaway.
Jamie returns to take the wheel of Keith Marriner’s Seat Time Race Solutions backed 944 for the weekend, alongside regular season competitors, Uncle Michael Westaway, and father Tony. Tony returns to the track fresh from his GT3 Cup Car experience at Queensland Raceway thanks to series sponsor Porsche Cars Australia.
Here is a run – down of the entrants for this weekend:
#1 Cameron Beller – Having clinched the 2019 CAMS Victorian State Race Series Championship at the previous round, club championship leader Cameron Beller will again be the man to beat after his recent perfect round at Phillip Island in September, and only needs to finish one of the races on the weekend to secure his fourth consecutive 944 Challenge Championship.
#28 Tony Westaway – Tony sits solidly in second position in the points and actually can’t be beaten for the position due to his consistent points run over the year. – his aim will be to take wins this round, or at least be top Westaway…
#4 Ken Rowland – Ken is leading the battle for third position in the 944 Challenge pointscore heading into the final round, with a small 3 point gap ahead of his closest pursuer. The battle for third will surely go down to the final race of the season..
#27 Toni Andreevski – returning after missing the last round of the series is Toni Andreevski – Toni is only 3 points behind Ken and has the enviable record of finishing every race he started this year – had he made the last event, Toni would likely be a shoe-in for third outright in the season. As it stands now, he has to chase Rowland, and also defend from the next tow drivers to take the spot..
#99 John Kennedy – John has been the revelation of the season and one of only 6 drivers to have led a race this year when he took the lead in the final race at the last round of the series at Phillip Island. John could also have been sitting in a stronger position in the points had he not missed two rounds of the year, the first of the year before he acquired the car, and the Shannons round where he was unable to attend. John will have his eyes set on getting onto the top step of the podium as he plans an assault of the 2020 title.
#31 Adam Brewer – Adam has moved mountains to get his car repaired after the unfortunate shunt in the wet race last round with Mark Taubitz – and returns to the circuit fresh from a Fiji holiday to recharge his batteries and to re-focus on the weekends racing. Adam sits only 4 points behind Kennedy in the points, only 19 points behind Rowland in third place. With 26 points up for grab in each of the three races, a DNF in any of the events would be disastrous for any of these four drivers vying for the final championship podium position.
#66 Tim Wolfe- Tim has had a solid introductory year to the 944 Challenge this year, and with consistency finds himself in seventh place in the points heading to the final round. Tim will look to get himself into the top ten this weekend and be ready to capitalise if poor luck falls the way of any of the season podium protagonists ahead of him in points.
#8 Dick Howe – Dick had a great start to the round at the last event at Phillip Island, qualifying on the front row and recording a second place finish in race 1. He sits only three points behind Wolfe for seventh position in the series points and will look to take the battle to the guys at the front of the pack with a repeat of the speed from a few months ago.
#98 Pedr James – Pedr had some great speed in the first race last round at Phillip Island, and despite a spin/crash and DNF in the wet race 2, returned to score a top 5 finish despite starting from the rear of the grid in the final race. Tied for points with Michael Westaway, Pedr will be looking to outscore Michael for the weekend and secure a top ten for the season and look for a great springboard to start 2020 off from.
#45 Michael Westaway – Michael was again at the pointy end of the field at last round, gathering a good collection of points for the round – but mired back in eleventh position after 6 rounds due to missing two rounds and leaving round 2 with a zero. Hopefully we will see Michael embark on a full season campaign in 2020 to see how high he can finish in the points score!
#32 John Vainoras – John had his best ever round last event at Phillip Island, pedaling his car markedly quicker around the circuit than he had previously, and ran as high as sixth position early on in the final race. John will look to continue his improvement to allow him to mix in with the cars in the mid pack as he pace continues this weekend.
#46 Jim Mitchell – Jim returns after missing the last round and will have some competition around him as the battle around the mid pack of the field heats up – keep an eye out for his traditional John Force mimicking start line getaways this weekend as Jim is sure to gain places off the start line!
#33 Andrew Jones – Andrew also found some improvement on his times last weekend, and will look to find the same gains as John Vainoras did last time to stick with the purple machine – and join the battle in the second half of the field which is starting to heat up nicely!
#12 Marius Catrina – Marius returns for the final event for the year after missing the last two rounds at Phillip Island and Winton – hopefully a good clean weekend will be a good way to end the season and prepare for the 2020 season for Marius where he showed some very strong pace at Sandown in qualifying – a top ten in qualifying would be a good way to start the weekend for him.
#85 Daniel Petselis – Returning after making his debut with the series last round is 16 year old young gun Daniel Petselis in the Melbourne Performance Centre backed 944. Daniel acquitted himself well and also turned some laps last weekend at Winton as he gets himself more acclimatised to the car. He will look to be getting into the top ten this weekend with some more miles under his belt and some good times at Winton.
#64 Jamie Westaway – Rounding out the trio of Westaway’s for the weekend will be the 2018 State Series champion in 944’s, Jamie Westaway. Jamie returns behind the wheel of Keith Marriner’s 944 after some medical issues prevented Keith from running this weekend. Will Jamie be able to run up the pointy end this weekend and challenge Beller, Kennedy, Howe – and of course his Dad & uncle for the top spot?
#15 Andy Tudor – Joining the grid for the first time will be West Australian Andy Tudor, who is joining his compatriot Tim Wolfe in making the journey over from the West Coast to compete this weekend in the ex Leno Natoli Porsche 944.
Missing this round will be Mark Taubitz after his crash last round, along with Peter Doherty who is also undertaking some upgrades in preparation for 2020.
Also absent behind the wheel, but at the circuit will be Keith Marriner, with Andrew Jackman also in attendance, but without his car as he prepares for the 2020 season with his race car.
The weather at this point looks like it will be fine all weekend, head on down for qualifying at 11:15 on Saturday morning!
Best of luck to 944 Challenge veteran Tony Westaway, who heads to Queensland Raceway today to take part in his prize of driving the Porsche GT3 Cup Car courtesy of our wonderful series sponsor, Porsche Cars Australia.
Seen here is Tony receiving his congratulations from Troy Bundy from Porsche Cars Australia upon confirmation of him securing the prize. Tony secured the experience due to his fantastic consistency throughout the year which saw him just miss out on the 2019 944 Challenge State Championship to Cameron Beller.
Cameron himself participated in the GT3 Cup Car experience a few months ago and impressed the trainers hugely as he ran some of the best ever times seen in one of the sessions by a non-professional racer on one of these days.
Look forward to seeing the results and images and video from the event courtesy of Tony & Jamie Westaway in the days to follow as they prepare to hit the Phillip Island circuit this weekend for the Island Magic event, the final round for the 2019 944 Challenge Series Championship!
The fifth and final round of the 2019 Victorian State Racing Championships is on this weekend, which is also the penultimate round of the 2019 944 Challenge Championship.
With the prize of the coveted experience aboard a Current spec Porsche 911 GT3 Carrera Cup Car up for grabs to the winning or highest placed eligible driver, there is a lot at stage this weekend! Let’s have a look at the entries for this weekend:
#1 Cameron Beller – Cameron moves back to the top of the Vic State Championship pointscore after another perfect round at Sandown – but he sits only 3 points ahead of Tony Westaway going into this final round as a result of scoring no points at Winton in June. He will hope to take back the Vic State Championship title he lost in 2018 – a repeat of his Phillip Island performance in May will help him do that.
#28 Tony Westaway – Tony sits just behind Beller on the points for the State Series, with whoever comes out on top between the two this weekend likely to take the State Championship title. Due to his previous winning of the prize, Beller in ineligible to again secure the GT3 Cup Drive, which Tony can secure for himself in Race 1 this weekend if he has a good finish.
#99 John Kennedy – John returns after missing the last round of the series at the Shannon’s Nationals event, which sees him still in fourth place in the Vic State Series, and with a great chance to finish in the top three if he has a weekend as good as the others he has pulled off this season.
#4 Ken Rowland – Ken has had one of his most consistent seasons and sees him sitting in fifth position in the State Series points heading into this final round – he will battle with Kennedy to see who can take gone the third position in the series at the end of the weekend.
#31 Adam Brewer – Adam has had a wonderful first season where he scored his first podium finishes at the last round at Winton – he is only a handful of points behind Rowland so a good result this weekend could see him vaulting up as high as third in the points by the end of the weekend.
#66 Tim Wolfe – Tim has had a solid introductory year to the 944 Challenge this year, and with consistency finds himself with sights set on a seventh place finish in the points this year if he puts together a strong weekend.
#3 Mark Taubitz – Mark finally had a relatively trouble-free weekend at Winton last round, but that hasn’t helped him in the State Championships where he sits in 10th in the points going into the final round.
#8 Dick Howe – Dick had a great round at the last State Round at Sandown culminating in third position in the final race for the weekend, and subsequently the round outright – he will hope to continue that strong run on this weekend.
#21 Clayton Sinclair – Clayton returns for this round at Phillip Island for the final round of the Vic State Series Championships and will have his eyes set on a top ten in the series points of things go his way this weekend!
#98 Pedr James – Pedr is returning to the circuit as the most recent race winner after taking out the final race and the Dennis O’Keefe cup at Winton – as he is slowly creeping up on getting his new car up to the same speed as his previous ride which was damaged at Sandown.
#32 John Vainoras – John has shown some good improvements in the most recent rounds, and will look to keep that improvement curve going as he enters the Phillip Island round this weekend.
#45 Michael Westaway – Michael was again at the pointy end of the field at Winton and again showed fantastic speed at the weekend, only having Cam Beller going faster across the weekend. He will look for a good result after mechanical woes at the last round at PI kept him out of the results over the weekend.
#33 Andrew Jones – Andrew returns after missing two rounds after an operation, and had some renewed passion to close the gap to the pack in front and move forward in the field, great to have him back!
#53 Peter Doherty – Peter finally had some joy with reliability after his mechanical issues were solved at Winton and he completed all three races on the weekend. He enters Phillip Island with a pep in his step and top tens in his sights!
#85 Daniel Petselis – Daniel is another debutante for the 2019 944 Challenge series having taken the driving duties from the newly acquired ex-Brad Winter 944. With former rookie of the year Lee Partridge assisting Daniel, we are sure the 17-year-old will represent himself well and get up to speed quickly!
Missing this round will be Lyndon Watson, along with Toni Andreevski who is over at the Porsche homeland in Germany and will slip from his sixth place position in the State Series points.
Also absent will be Keith Marriner who was a last-minute withdrawal from the round, along with Jim Mitchell, Marius Catrina and Rob Holding. Andrew Jackman will be in attendance, but without his car as he prepares for the 2020 season with his race car.
The weather at this point looks like it will be fine all weekend after some heavy rain on Friday interrupted the practice running. Looks like being an exciting weekend ahead!!
The 944 Challenge drivers are super excited to hit the track as part of a special invitation to join in with Round 5 of the Shannons Nationals series, which will feature the first visit of the TCR series to the Winton circuit. This year will also see this round be a points round of the 944 Challenge series Championship.
Here is a preview for this event which will again see the Dennis O’Keefe Cup presented – this time to the winner of the fourth and final (non-points) race of the weekend, which will again be a handicap reverse grid race on Sunday afternoon.
For those that can’t make it down, make sure you tune into the Shannons Nationals Livestream on both Saturday & Sunday for all the action! Saturdays qualifying session starts at 9:50, with Race 1 at 12:55 that day and Race 2 at Sundays Reverse grid race is at 10:40am, with the Handicap race finale at 13:35. Below is a list of those competing this weekend:
#1 Cameron Beller – Cameron was able to recover from his disaster at Winton in July with a perfect weekend at Sandown. He will need to avoid his Winton curse this weekend to ensure he maintains his newly re-claimed championship points lead.
#28 Tony Westaway – Tony had an outstanding weekend last time out at Winton with two race victories securing him the Round win also – the first wins of his career, but lost the series lead after Sandown as a result of Beller’s perfect points haul. A repeat of last time at Winton would put Tony back on top again – can he repeat and topple Beller?
#4 Ken Rowland – Ken also had a great weekend last time at Winton, with a solid weekend ending on the highest point as he finished second in the final race, setting the fastest lap across the three races – but his last round at Sandown wasn’t as strong, with a DNF in the final race. He will also look to repeat his Winton form.
#31 Adam Brewer – Adam had a frustrating weekend last time at Winton, but recovered with a strong performance at Sandown last round. His car was raced by Manny Mezzasalma last year at this round as Adam will have his first event as part of the Shannons Nationals.
#27 Toni Andreevski – Toni’s consistent season continued on at both Winton and Sandown – Toni will aim to improve on his Round 3 results at last time out at Winton and improve on his speed as he looks to be a regular feature amongst the leading battle packs.
#3 Mark Taubitz – Mark is returning after a couple of horror rounds that saw him complete only 7 laps of racing and yielding no points – he showed good pace last time out at Winton and will hope to turn around his recent run of bad luck this weekend.
#46 Jim Mitchell – Jim had a good round last time out at Winton and scored some decent points – something he will hope to repeat at his return to the circuit and look to move back into the top ten in points.
#8 Dick Howe – Dick had a bad weekend last time at Winton suffering two DNF’s and unable to start the final race after an off-track excursion on the final lap of race 2 caused some exhaust damage that was unable to be fixed for Race 3. He was able to bounce back with a strong showing at Sandown however, culminating n third position in the final race for the weekend, and subsequently the round outright.
#98 Pedr James – Pedr was back aboard his old faithful white and green car at Winton and showed great speed racing with the lead pack all weekend, but a qualifying accident at Sandown sees him returning to Winton with his Left-hand drive silver & black machine. Pedr will hope to string together a reliable weekend to avoid any repairs before Phillip Island in 4 weeks time.
#32 John Vainoras – John had his highest pointscore for the year last time at Winton, finishing all three races and battling hard all weekend with Andy Jones who will be absent while he recuperates from surgery. John will have his sights set on the cars immediately in front of him as he looks to close the gap in front of him.
#45 Michael Westaway – Michael showed his customary great speed at Winton last round, despite a race 1 spin was on track for a great weekend with a 4th and 3rd place finishes in races 1 & 2 before his car came to a halt on the warm-up lap for Race 3. Being the only points he has scored so far this year Michael is out of the point hunt, so will have podium finishes in his sight for this weekend at a track he traditionally has had some standout performances at.
#97 Rob Holding – Rob had his first round of the year at Sandown last round and encountered some teething issues, but now that they are sorted, he will be looking to repeat his standout performance at this round last year where he diced all weekend long with Cam Beller & Chris Lewis-Williams.
#53 Peter Doherty – Peter is still trying to sort his engine gremlins, and having thrown some more parts at the #53 car, its fingers crossed that he can have a trouble-free Friday and be on circuit for this weekends racing – something he hasn’t been able to do thus far as he chases his car issues.
#22 Brad Winter – Brad makes his return to the circuit for the first time since the end of 2018 – although that was only brief as clutch dramas in qualifying saw him pack up before turning a wheel in any of the races. Brad will surely have lost none of his speed and will be dicing amongst the lead pack this weekend.
#21 Clayton Sinclair – Clayton is a last-minute withdrawal due to illness – and will instead return to the circuit at Phillip Island for the final round of the Vic State Series Championships.
Missing this round will be John Kennedy & Lyndon Watson, which will hurt them in their points position. Also absent will be Keith Marriner, Tim Wolfe, Marius Catrina and Andy Jones – all of which are expected to return for Phillip Island. Andrew Jackman will be in attendance, but without his car as he prepares for the 2020 season with his race car.
The weather at this point looks to be fine and sunny all weekend – with the TCR and Prototype cars on the bill for the weekend, it will be a great weekends racing to come down and watch!
Race Program available here!
This weekend sees the fourth round of the Victorian State Race Series being held at Sandown Raceway, with the 944 Challenge again competing as one of the staple categories of the series – for the first time with the backing of Porsche Australia on board!
Here is a preview of the competitors who will be on track this weekend:
#1 Cameron Beller – Cameron had two perfect rounds to start the year, but WInton was even more of a horror for him than 2018 – this year returning zero points for the weekend. While he is able to fall back on the dropped worst round rule for the 944 series keeping him on top in that pointscore, he has slipped to second in the Victorian State Circuit Racing Championship Points with only two rounds remaining. He will hope to replicate his perfect Sandown performance from Round 1 as he looks to claw back the points deficit.
#5 Lyndon Watson – Lyndon had a perfect Saturday at Winton, scoring Pole Position and the Race 1 win, but had to settle for second and third positions on Sunday. Nevertheless, he now sits second in the 944 points after factoring in the dropped worst round after his non attendance at Sandown at Round 1. Would this put him at a disadvantage this weekend against his rivals?
#28 Tony Westaway – Tony had an outstanding weekend at Winton with two race victories securing him the Round win also – the first wins of his career. With a lead in the Vic State Series Pointscore, Tony will be holding nothing back as he looks to stay at the top of the points ladder at the end of the weekend.
#4 Ken Rowland – Ken also had a great weekend at Winton, with a solid weekend ending on the highest point as he finished second in the final race, setting the fastest lap across the three races – these results moving him up to fourth in the series points.
#3 Mark Taubitz – What started out as a great weekend at Winton for Taubitz with a front row qualifying start converting to an early race 1 lead all came unravelled in a matter of laps as his car lost speed and he was hauled in and quickly overtaken by the lead pack – pulling into the pits and out for the weekend – dropping him back to fifth position from second in the points. A borrowed engine courtesy of Andrew Jackman sees Taubitz on the grid for this round, and looking to make amends for his WInton disaster.
#99 John Kennedy – John had another great weekend at WInton scoring two more podium finishes, and now heads to Sandown for his first outing at the fast Melbourne circuit. Johns car was on the podium at Round 1 when driven by Paul Crocitti – and John will be keen to get the car onto the top step of the podium this weekend and move into the top five in the points.
#27 Toni Andreevski – Toni’s strong season continued at WInton as he consistently improves during his weekends racing – seeing him into seventh position in the series pointscore after the three rounds so far. Toni will aim to improve on his Round 1 results at Sandown and will have his targets set on some top 5 finishes this weekend.
#66 Tim Wolfe – TIm also improved during the course of his Winton weekend, and a good collection of results in the top ten despite a huge moment resulting in a spin in race 2 sees Tim sitting in eighth in the points. Returning to a circuit he has raced at for the first time will no doubt benefit Tim this weekend and he will also look to improve on his results at Round 1.
#64 Keith Marriner – Keith again started his weekend slowly at Winton but improved during the course of the running and left the weekend sitting in ninth position in the points. Keith will look to emulate some of his previous good form at Sandown to move up int he points come the end of the weekend.
#31 Adam Brewer – Adam is another who had a frustrating weekend at Winton with mechanical dramas resulting in two DNF’s. Adam had a strong outing at Sandown at Round 1 dicing in and around the top 5 – some reliability should see him repeating that form this weekend as he has his eyes on his first podium finish.
#46 Jim Mitchell – Jim had a better weekend at Winton than he had at Phillip Island, with no reliability issues to speak of and sees him in eleventh position in the points. Jim will look for some solid top ten results at what is traditionally his strongest circuit on the schedule to move into the top ten in the points.
#98 Pedr James – Pedr was back aboard his old faithful white and green car at Winton, and showed great speed with Pedr on the lead pack all weekend – but his weekend was soured by an off track excursion in Race 2 and a spin on the last lap of the final race while sitting fifth resulting in a DNF. Pedr will hope to string a series of three finishes together this weekend and hope to move into the top ten in the series points.
#20 Andrew Jackman – Andrew had a so-so weekend at Winton, struggling for ultimate pace while complaining of understeer hampering his pace, Three finishes nevertheless moved him up to thirteenth in the points after missing the Sandown round at the start of the year.
#32 John Vainoras – John had his highest pointscore for the year at Winton, finishing all three races and battling hard all weekend with Andy Jones. Round 1 at Sandown was a testing time for John so he will look to make up for that this weekend and have some good battles with his competitors this weekend.
#21 Clayton Sinclair – Clayton also had mechanical issues at Winton and was forced to sit out Sundays action – hopefully some better fortune will fall Claytons way this weekend at Sandown as he looks to improve on his best results so far from Round 2 at Phillip Island and move up in the points.
#12 Marius Catrina – Marius returns after missing round 3 at Winton, and some good finishes will move him up ion the points order. Marius qualified a fantastic sixth at Round 1 at Sandown so he will hope to replicate or improve that performance this weekend and back it up with three strong finishes.
#8 Dick Howe – A bad weekend at Winton for Dick, suffering two DNF’s and unable to start the final race after an off track excursion on the final lap of race 2 caused some exhaust damage that was unable to be fixed for Race 3. Dick’s season has been hampered with bad luck – no more so than at Sandown Round 1 when he blew an engine in qualifying. Making it to grid for Race 1 will therefore be an improvement for the veteran as he looks to get the second half of his season off to a better start than the first!
#14 Paul Greer – A welcome return is Paul Greer in his stunning Gold 944 – fingers crossed Paul has gotten to the bottom of his fuel issues which saw him able to finish some of the races at Phillip Island, despite the problems still present – perhaps in a lesser capacity. At a track he has produced great results in the past, hopefully Paul will be able to be a factor up the front of the field this weekend.
#97 Rob Holding – Another welcome return to the circuit for the first time in 2019 is Rob Holding – with a fresh engine on board Rob will no doubt be dicing up the point end of the field after his impressive performances the last few times on track in 2018.
#53 Peter Doherty – Peter is yet to be confirmed for the weekends entry list, but will be at the circuit on Friday to test and hope he has solved the niggles he has experienced on board his car the past few rounds. Fingers crossed Peter has exorcised the cars demons and will be on the grid with the 19 other cars on Saturday,
Missing this weekend will be the two orange cars – Andy Jones who is out of action for the next few rounds after having an operation on his achilles, and Michael Westaway who is heading overseas when the round is taking place.
The forecast is for a clear Friday and Saturday – but there are some showers predicted for Sunday… and there is always some extra excitement with some water added…
944 Qualifying kicks off at 11:40am on Saturday morning with Race 1 at 3:40pm. Come on down to Sandown Raceway for a great weekend of racing!
Some very exciting news for all drivers of the 944 Challenge series with a new announcement surrounding a fantastic new sponsorship arrangement with Porsche Cars Australia!
Porsche Cars Australia will include the 944 Challenge in the young driver development program for 2019. At the conclusion of the 2019 season (Vic State Race Series), the champion driver from the competition* will be offered a Porsche GT3 Cup Track Experience valued at approximately $7,000 each.
The GT3 Cup Track Experience involves a full day behind the wheel of a current-specification Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car (Gen II), the same car used in highly competitive Porsche Carrera Cup Championships campaigned around the globe. The GT3 Cup Track Experience is the perfect stepping stone for both young drivers seeking to progress their careers and more experienced drivers to elevate their racing to the next level.
“We are pleased to expand our support of Australian Motor Sport to three exciting categories,” said Motorsport Manager for Porsche Cars Australia, Troy Bundy.
“The Porsche 944 challenge is also the first step on the Porsche Motorsport pyramid and an affordable introduction for drivers of all ages to one-make Porsche racing. We are proud to support this great class.”
“Porsche and our partners have made a significant investment into driver development locally and we are proud to expand that further this year.”
The announcement increases an already significant investment in junior driver development within Australian Motorsport. Working with major partner Michelin, Porsche’s Michelin Junior Program supports a total of eleven young drivers competing in the Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia and Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge this year, with approximately $300,000 in support and prizes on offer.
As part of the program, Michelin Junior driver Jordan Love received a trip to Germany to experience the Formula E Berlin E-Prix on May 25 by virtue of winning the ‘Michelin Super Round’ at the Australian Grand Prix. As in previous years, the leading Porsche Michelin Junior competing in Porsche Carrera Cup Australia will receive a nomination to the Porsche Motorsport Junior Program Shootout in Europe later this year.
The winner of which will receive a scholarship to contest the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in 2020, following in the footsteps of both Jaxon Evans and Matt Campbell.
*Previous winners will be excluded from eligibility for winning the prize a second time. In this instance, the prize will be offered to the next highest place eligible driver.
One more sleep until the 944 Challenge field set off to begin Qualifying for Round 3 of the 2019 season at Winton Raceway. 18 cars and drivers are entered which bodes for a great weekend’s racing ahead. Let’s go through the drivers entered for the round.
#1 Cameron Beller – Cameron has had two perfect rounds so far, but returns to the scene of what was to be his downfall in his quest for the 2018 Vic State Series Title in Winton Raceway. He will look to keep his perfect streak for 2019 going and avoid the dramas of last year.
#3 Mark Taubitz – Two consistent rounds so far in 2019 sees Mark second in the pointscore despite struggling with power on the two high speed tracks. He will look to return to the podium this weekend at Winton where power is less of a top level concern.
#28 Tony Westaway – Tony finished third outright for the weekend at Phillip Island which sees him move up the pointscore into third position outright. Tony had some issues at his Winton appearance last year, so will look to have a smoother run on his return to the regional circuit in his attempt to move further up the standings.
#27 Toni Andreevski – Toni continues his strong start to the 2019 season which after scoring a top 5 result at Phillip Island, sees him up to fourth in the points. This will surprisingly be his first visit to race in the 944’s at Winton Raceway, will he be able to get to grips with the tight layout to maintain his championship position?
#64 Keith Marriner – Keith had an ordinary start to the weekend at Phillip Island, but improved for Sunday which sees him in fifth position in the points after the first two rounds. Winton was the scene of Keith’s best round result last year, he will be keen to replicate that result this weekend!
#31 Adam Brewer – Adam is another driver competing in the 944 Challenge for the first time at Winton this weekend. Some mechanical issues hampered Adam in Race 1 at Phillip Island which saw him slip a couple of positions in the points – fingers crossed for a reliable weekend for Adam as he will aim to claw back some of the lost positions.
#66 Tim Wolfe – Continuing the theme of drivers having their first outing in a 944 Challenge race at Winton this weekend, Tim is another who will be doing just that along with Toni & Adam. A DNF in Race 2 at PI cost Tim some points, but he is still sitting a credible seventh after the two rounds.
#4 Ken Rowland – Ken had a weekend to forget at Phillip Island and will look to get his season back on track at Winton Raceway – a track where he has previously shown some very impressive speed at in the past – can he get himself back on the podium again this weekend?
#98 Pedr James – Pedr unfortunately had some engine issues at the end of the final race at PI, which will see him possibly return to his ‘old faithful’ white & green car for this weekend – Pedr also had good speed at this last Winton outing behind the wheel of that car and will be aiming to have a reliable weekend and push into the top 5 over the weekend.
#5 Lyndon Watson – Lyndon had a good return to track at Phillip Island after missing Round 1, and after a good showing at Winton in 2018 which was unfortunately hampered by a failed fuel pump at the end of Race 2, Lyndon will hope to get onto the podium this weekend and vault further up the pointscore.
#46 Jim Mitchell – Jim had a weekend to forget at Phillip Island last round, but will be energised with the memory of a strong showing at Winton in 2018 when he finished fifth outright at the State Round and fourth in the reverse grid race at the Shannons Round in August to encourage him for the upcoming round.
#21 Clayton Sinclair – Clayton is yet another having is first race at Winton aboard a 944 – and he will want to wipe away his most recent memory of pitting in the final race at Phillip Island to address a black flag… which wasn’t intended for him… Good pace as the weekend continued for Clayton will give him some optimism to have a strong showing this weekend.
#8 Dick Howe – A strong showing from Dick at Phillip Island last round after the disappointment of his engine failure in qualifying at Sandown saw him finish fifth for the round despite a race 1 spin in the wet dropped him down the pack, he was able to move up to dice in the leading pack in the final race, ultimately just missing out on a podium. He will look to continue the momentum from that round.into Round 3.
#33 Andy Jones – Andy is yet another first timer at Winton, and after suffering some car issues at Phillip Island will be back on track and ready for a reliable weekend as he will come to grips with Winton for the first time under race conditions.
#32 John Vainoras – John had a more encouraging weekend at Phillip Island, finishing all three races which was a good result after a troubling Sandown. Showing a good increase in pace across the weekend, John will hope that momentum continues at Winton this weekend.
#99 John Kennedy – The sixth driver having his first race weekend at Winton will be John Kennedy – fresh off a fantastic debut performance at Phillip Island which saw him snare a pair of podium finishes before being black flagged in the final race. John will hope he can maintain the impressive showing this weekend around the twisty Winton circuit.
#20 Andrew Jackman – Andrew has bit the bullet and upgraded to the Motec ECU unit for this round, and will be looking to have a good showing after preparing the car for the round ahead. A good showing at Winton last year is something he will be looking to further improve on this weekend.
#45 Michael Westaway – Michael had a stunning qualifying at Phillip Island putting the car third on the grid, but unfortunately it was downhill from there as he suffered mechanical issues bringing his weekend to a premature close. There were similar issues for Michael at Winton last year, so he will be hoping they have been well and truly solved to avoid a repeat performance from then.
A few drivers are missing this weekend from Phillip Island, with Marius Catrina, Peter Doherty, Paul Greer, Campbell Hammersley-Alderson & Paul Crocitti not entered for this round – hopefully we will see these drivers back for Round 4 at Sandown in 5 weeks time.
The forecast is for no rain this weekend, but there is always some extra excitement with some water added…
944 Qualifying kicks off at 10:45am on Saturday morning with Race 1 at 3pm. Come on down to Winton Motor Raceway for a great weekend of racing!
Less than one week remains until the 944 Challenge field set off to begin practice for Round 2 of the 2019 season at Phillip Island. 22 cars and drivers are entered, the highest field since Round 1 of the 2017 Season!
#1 Cameron Beller – Cameron continued on his winning ways at Round 1 of the season at Sandown with a perfect result with 3 wins from 3 races Will he be able to replicate this performance at Phillip Island?
#4 Ken Rowland – Ken showed impressive pace as he secured his first front row starting position and also his first podium finishes to make a strong start to the season after missing the first half of the 2018 season. Ken will be looking to keep the momentum up at Phillip Island, a track he historically has performed well at.
#31 Adam Brewer – Adam performed extremely well at his first outing at Sandown raceway at Round 1, and will be looking to repeat the performance as he returns to a track he has competed at previously in Phillip Island. One driver who suffered cooling dramas in the heat of the Sandown weekend, he will look to have put those issues behind him and improve further on his pace.
#3 Mark Taubitz – Mark was another who struggled with engine temperature and performance at Sandown which left him slightly off the pace he was expecting. He will also hope to have solved those issues for Phillip Island and will look to get onto the podium for the first time this weekend.
#66 Tim Wolfe – Tim was the highest placed of the 944 rookies who had their first outing at Sandown and performed extremely well in his first outing. Some further comfort tweaks in the gap between Rounds 1 & 2 will surely mean he will find some more pace on board the Pipecraft 944 as he has first outing at Phillip Island.
#64 Keith Marriner – Keith had a solid performance at PI, though a spin in Race 3 prevented him from having a better result for the round. Some vehicles upgrades have given Keith further confidence which will have him chasing some personal best records at Phillip Island this coming weekend.
#46 Jim Mitchell – Jim again had a solid weekend at Sandown to commence the first round, highlighted by a seventh position in Race 2 bookended by a pair of ninth place finishes after qualifying dramas saw him at the back of the pack. Jim will be looking for another trio of top ten finishes this weekend at PI.
#27 Toni Andreevski – Toni also had a strong opening round at Sandown as he improved throughout the weekend, culminating in an eighth place finish in the final race of the weekend, Toni will be returning for Round 2 as he attempts to complete as many rounds as possible this season.
#28 Tony Westaway – Tony was on track for a great weekend after finishing Race 1 in second position, however a part failure on the first corner of Race 2 put him out of that race, though recovered strongly to finish fifth in the final race. Tony will be hoping to retain the strong pace shown across to Phillip Island to move himself up the points order.
#98 Pedr James – Pedr ran his new car for the first time, as he acclimatised to left hand drive for the first time. Struggling with pace however, Pedr will no doubt have made some tweaks in an attempt to find some more speed for Round 2, at a track he has had good recent form at.
#57 Campbell Hammersley-Alderson – Taking over behind the wheels of Pedr’s familiar white & green PKJ Fencing 944, Campbell put on a good showing in his first round behind the wheel of a 944 – he will also be looking to close the gap on the mid pack as he gets more familiar with the car on his first visit to Phillip Island.
#33 Andy Jones – Andy also debuted with the series behind the wheel of a car returning to the series for the first time in 8 years – albeit with a number of upgrades. Andy also put on a good performance, battling with Campbell for the weekend and also improving as the weekend went on – Andy will also be looking to get more comfortable with the car as he improves his pace and move up the order this weekend.
#12 Marius Catrina – Marius put on a great performance in qualifying to slot himself sixth on the grid, unfortunately though a spin in Race 1 put him back in the pack, with a Race 3 DNF affecting his Round pointscore. Marius will be hoping to revisit that qualifying pace on his return to Phillip Island
#21 Clayton Sinclair – Clayton was another series debutante who performed very well – actually taking the gong of the highest qualifying of the four first time drivers on the weekend, but a race 2 engine blow up on the last lap ended his weekend early after a strong Race 1 on Saturday. Armed with a fresh engine, Clayton will be ready to hit the track and repeat the performance this weekend.
#32 John Vainoras – John had a disappointing weekend at Sandown as he struggled with car issues all weekend in the heat, only managing to complete the first race on Saturday with two DNF’s on Sunday – he will be hoping for a turnaround of fortunes this weekend and to finish all the sessions.
#8 Dick Howe – Dick was out of the Sandown weekend early, after an engine failure on Saturdays qualifying session both laid down an impressive smokescreen, but caused Dick to put the car on the trailer. Ready and raring for Round 2, Dick will be back to make amends for the early demise with a strong Round 2 showing.
#53 Peter Doherty – Packing up from the Sandown weekend even earlier was Peter Doherty, as persistent fuel pickup and misfire issues throughout Friday practice led Peter to pack up to take the car home to fix it properly – hopefully no further issues will befall Peter this weekend..
#14 Paul Greer – Paul has hopefully fixed his fuel issues on his 944, and returns to the circuit for the first time in a couple of years – the distinctive Tiger Mica coloured 944 a welcome return to the circuit, and will be looking for some reliability this weekend as he has hopefully solved the issues that have plagued him in recent showings.
#5 Lyndon Watson – Lyndon was a last minute withdrawal from Round 1, so will be looking to start his 2019 season at Phillip Island, a track where he showed good speed in 2018 and will no doubt have a podium finish in his sights for the weekend ahead.
#20 Andrew Jackman – Fresh from a run around the famed Mount Panorama circuit aboard his 944 as part of the Porsche regularity meeting, Andrew will also be starting his 2019 944 Challenge campaign at Phillip Island – another who has had some of his strongest finishes at the historic circuit, AJ will be looking to be firmly inside the top ten – and will be one smiling if the skies turn grey and the track turns wet…
#45 Michael Westaway – A trio of podium finishes was the results for Michael at his last outing – which having missed Round 1 this year, was achieved at the final round of the 2018 season – at Phillip Island… Michael will be another who will be surely looking to put himself back on the podium this weekend as he looks to make up for missing the first round.
#99 John Kennedy – Another series debutante this weekend comes in the form of John Kennedy – John is no stranger to pedalling a 944 around the race circuit however, as he has completed many track days in his 944 S2. How will John adapt to the lower powered 2.5 litre Challenge car? His new steed has got great form – having sat on the podium at Round 1 in the hands of its builder, Paul Crocitti.
As a result of the sale, missing from the round is Paul Crocitti on the heels of his best ever race and round results at Round 1 at Sandown, Paul will be on the sidelines and will wave goodbye to his second position in the points standings as a result. Hopefully we will see Paul on track behind the wheel of another car later on in the year…
944 Qualifying kicks off at 10:25am on Saturday morning with Race 1 at 2:25pm. Come on down to fantastic Phillip Island for a great weekend of racing!